Phils, Astros Both Win; Magic Number at Two

The Phillies rebounded from losing the first two games of their series with the Mets by plating 16 runs. Unfortunately for them, the Astros scored a lone run in the ninth inning that pushed them to a 7-6 win in St.Louis. The Astros magic number is now at two.

Vicente Padilla (9-12) wasn't exactly dominant, but the Phillies offense pulled him through as the Phillies snapped a two-game losing skid to beat the Mets 16-6.

Padilla pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and three walks.

Jimmy Rollins extended his franchise high hitting streak to 33 games with a base hit in his first at bat of the night. Rollins finished the night going 1-for-3 with three walks and three runs scored.

Chase Utley led the way with five RBI while David Bell and Kenny Lofton each collected four hits in the game. Shane Victorino provided a pinch-hit homerun and Pat Burrell hit his 32nd homerun of the season as part of a seven run eighth inning that put the game away for the Phillies.

The Mets constantly battled back, only to have the Phillies tack on some insurance runs throughout the game. In the eighth, the Phillies held a 9-6 advantage and took advantage of six hits and two Mets' errors in the inning to put the game away and take a 16-6 lead.

Aaron Fultz pitched a perfect ninth inning to make sure the Mets didn't mount any sort of final comeback.

In St. Louis, the Cardinals and Astros were tied 6-6 going into the ninth inning. Morgan Ensberg doubled to score Willie Taveras with the go-ahead run and Brad Lidge recorded his 40th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning to give the 'stros a 7-6 win.

Houston leads the Phillies by 2 1/2 games and have four games remaining against the Cubs, while the Phillies play a three-game weekend series in Washington. Any combination of two Astros wins or two Phillies losses would clinch the wild card for Houston.

The Phillies open their series against the Nationals Friday night at RFK Stadium with Cory Lidle (12-11, 4.65) going against Livan Hernandez (15-9, 3.95).


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